Buying Annual Leave - FAQ's
- Can I buy single days, or can only blocks of weeks be purchased?
- How do I apply?
- When can I apply?
- How will I pay for the additional leave that I buy?
- How much will I save on the cost of buying additional days, given that they are purchased via a salary sacrifice arrangement?
- Is there any other costs involved?
- What impact will buying additional leave have on my pension?
- Can I buy more than 30 days?
- I work part-time, are the days pro-rated?
- Do I need special reasons to buy additional leave?
- Is there a length of service requirement to buy additional leave?
- Can my request to buy additional leave be rejected?
- Can I carry over the bought leave into the next leave year?
- What happens if I am sick during the leave?
- When making the application do I have to specify when I intend taking the additional leave?
- What happens if I change my mind once the additional leave has been approved and deductions from pay have commenced?
- What happens if I move post during the leave year?
- What happens if my rate of pay changes during the leave year, although remaining in the same post, for example, receipt of a pay award?
- Does this policy mean that I can sell some of my leave?
- Are my entitlements to state benefits affected by buying additional leave?
- What happens if I go on a period of unpaid leave?
- I have more than one post with the University, will I be able to use my bought leave entitlement in all roles?
- My Line Manager has authorised my application, does my Head of School need to approve also?
1. Q. Can I buy single days, or can only blocks of weeks be purchased?
A. Single days can be bought, minimum purchase being 1 day (7.25 hours pro-rata). There is currently no maximum number of days that can be purchased in any one leave in line with the University’s current objectives. The University does retain the right to amend this at any time in the future.
2. Q. How do I apply?
A. Firstly, discuss with your Line Manager / Head of School and complete the application form provided through the Sodexho portal. E sign this and note your line managers email address where prompted, your line manager will then receive the application to sign and approve after which it will be forwarded to HR. . This needs to be completed and with HR by the 1st of August.
3. Q. When can I apply?
A. You should make your request before the start of the leave year during July. You should ensure that your manager has enough time to consider the request and how it can be accommodated.
4. Q. How will I pay for the additional leave that I buy?
A. You will pay by reducing your salary until the end of the annual leave year equivalent to the salary for the number of days requested. The payments will be spread evenly over the year from the date on which the leave takes effect (12 payments from August).
The ability to buy additional leave is via a salary sacrifice arrangement. Salary sacrifice is an agreement between the University and the staff member to vary the terms and conditions of employment to reduce the entitlement to cash pay, in return for non-cash benefit. The non-cash benefit in this case is additional annual leave. The salary sacrifice arrangement is financially beneficial as the non-cash benefit (additional leave) is exempt from tax and national insurance contributions.
A. Additional annual leave is not a taxable benefit, so there is no income tax or national insurance (NI) payable on the value of the days bought. This means that the net cost is reduced by up to 33% for the basic rate tax-payer and 41% for a higher rate tax payer. Example savings are shown in section 5 of this policy. .
A. A one-off fee of £30 will be deducted when the first deduction from salary is made.
12. Q. Can my request to buy additional leave be rejected?
A. Yes, if the request cannot be accommodated, for example, because of the operational needs of the work area, then your line Manager has the right to reject your application.
13. Q. Can I carry over the bought leave into the next leave year?
A. No, the leave must be used in the leave year that it was bought unless there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the leave being taken. It is also assumed that the additional bought leave is used first.
15. Q. When making the application do I have to specify when I intend taking the additional leave?
A. This would be beneficial for your Manager in considering your application, and may form part of the discussion you may have with your Manager, although this policy does not stipulate that specific dates have to be identified when making the application.
16. Q. What happens if I change my mind once the additional leave has been approved and deductions from pay have commenced?
A. Once an application has been accepted it is a binding agreement and cannot be altered unless exceptional circumstances exist. These circumstances are referred to as key life-style changes, which would include marriage or divorce, severs illness of either of you or a member of your family, having to reduce your hours of work or pay, or the potential job loss or either you or your partner.
17. Q. What happens if I move post during the leave year?
A. You would cease making repayments and a pay adjustment would take place if appropriate. You could then apply to purchase additional leave for your new role at the next available opportunity.
18. Q. What happens if my rate of pay changes during the leave year, although remaining in the same post, for example, receipt of a pay award?
A. The value of the bought leave will remain the same, based upon the salary payable when the agreement was entered into. The University does however reserve the right to re-calculate the value of the deductions.
20. Q. Are my entitlements to state benefits affected by buying additional leave?
A. If you are in receipt of benefits such as Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits the payments are based upon your income for the previous tax year. If you have bought additional leave and are making a new claim then you should use your revised pay figure when making the application. Help and advice is available via the website www.hmrc.gov.uk.
A. You will be allowed to suspend salary sacrifice payments until you return to work. Benefits such as Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Maternity Pay will be calculated on the reduced gross salary which may result in a lower value of these benefits. If you do not then return to work, any outstanding monies will be collected from final salary.
22. Q. I have more than one post with the University, will I be able to use my bought leave entitlement in all roles?
A. No, the additional entitlement is post specific and on a pro-rata basis. A separate request would need to be made for the other role occupied.